Sunday, 29 May 2011

Button up

Now that the bunting is done I've been busy concentrating on making things for the Vintage & Handmade Textile Fair on Saturday. Still lacking a sewing machine I've had to create in a different way but I really enjoyed making these little packs of buttons. You know sometimes you have an idea and it comes together really well and it is really satisfying, other times (and more often for me) the idea goes to pot and I end up frustrated and cross. At which point hubby and Boy say 'Why do you do it if you don't enjoy it?' But I am enjoying it in a way, it's all part of the creative process!

Anyway, if you fancy a bit of a treat this weekend head to Chipping Sodbury, Sarah will be there (I'm at the bunting wedding!) selling our Scrap bags, buttons, bundles of lace and all sorts of things made in her delicious fabrics. Have fun.

bunting bonanza

Phew, while Sarah has been busy blogging about bunting I've been busy making bunting. A couple of months ago my mother-in-law turned up with a huge bag of fabric because I had volunteered to make bunting for my brother-in-law's wedding. I had plenty of time and it is fairly simple to make so I wasn't too fazed by the prospect of producing enough bunting to adorn an entire yurt village. I set to cutting out triangles straight away.

However, I've had a right old saga with my sewing machine: it broke so I got it fixed and it promptly broke again, so I bought a new one which arrived broken, so I asked to borrow my mum's but she lent it to me without the foot pedal.... so with one thing and another I have been machineless for about 6 months and my creativity has been completely hindered. And now the wedding is next weekend so I had to borrow a machine for the evening and sew like mad. Hubby ironed the tape in half as I fed it through the machine and attached my triangles until, 50 metres later, we had run out of triangles and tape.

Hopefully next week I will be able to show you pictures of the bunting in situ, but I am afraid that, although it sounds a lot, 50 metres of bunting doesn't go very far.

sustainable sardinery

anyone who watched hugh and jamie et al do their fish fight programme will know that we should all be eating more sustainable fish, indeed we should only be buying sustainable fish. i have not bought tuna since watching the programmes i was so shocked. I come from a fishing family, my maternal grandfather was a trawlerman out of Fleetwood and he was a great believer in sustainability (before it became a buzz word). 
Sardines and mackeral are two perfect examples as they are prolific in our waters. They are also incredibly cheap and tick all of the nutrition boxes. i like them stuffed with a handful of herbs and chargrilled whole, served with a sharp zingy salsa, or a rhubarb or gooseberry compote, zipped up with a star anise, or a big dob of chilli jam.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

garland obsession

ok, so now i think i might have developed a garland obsession, and a quick scoot around flickr brought up thousands of them (actually there is no such thing  as a quick scoot around flickr!!)

true beauties from lobster and swan on flickr 1. Untitled, 2. Untitled, 3. Untitled, 4. Untitled, 5. Untitled, 6. Untitled

clever crochet
1. wall flowers..., 2. wall flowers..., 3. Flower Garland, 4. Daphne..., 5. WImpelketten_gemischt, 6. Hakelgirlande_bunt

1. Hakelgirlande_bunt

paper circles
. Wimpelkette_bunt 1, 2. Häkelgirlande_rosa_3, 3. A study in French - Circles, 4. snips + snails garland, 5. Circle bunting, 6. DSC_1105

1. Gh_j2, 2. DSC_1110tris

1. DSC_1103, 2. Art Paper Garland, 3. paper garland, 4. Paper garland - butterfly

Friday, 27 May 2011

weekend reading

london based author, stylist and designer, sania pell has launched her own very beautiful blog  full of beautifully styled ideas.

Found sale

i particularly love these shots of a recent exhibition called 'found' in london ( in support of the fabulous kettles yard)
the picture below reminds me of the painter elaine pamphillon and her beautiful still life paintings.
Found sale

Found sale


fabulous colours  and beautiful styling - fits perfectly with our less is more ethos....
happy weekend

design inspiration garlands

while we are on the subject of bunting and garlands, Jeska at lobster and swan posted this lovely 'how to'  this week - in view of that that half term is starting in the pouring rain - it could be a great way to keep small fry and mummies busy for a morning!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

design inspiration bunting

bunting from flickr   1. Bunting, 2. Bunting, 3. Bunting, 4. bunting

i am full of design ideas at the moment, and finding inspiration in unusual places! i have a thing about garlands and bunting, and love theses pictures of it flapping against a blue sky..... i feel a wallpaper coming on.

1. Bunting  from flickr

 image via selina lake

image via 100layer cake

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

cup cake competition

When we ran our cupcake competition last year one of the runners up was Lesley from Poppy Greens. Not surprising since she runs her own cup cake business. As well as creating her beautiful cakes, made with eggs from her own free range chickens, she also has a fantastic selection of vintage china for hire and produces bunches of wonderful country cottage flowers. For plenty of inspiration take a look at her gallery.

If inspired then you should enter her competition, she is offering a free place on selected workshops during June and July, but be quick the deadline is tomorrow!

Monday, 23 May 2011


i keep seeing this japanese washi tape everywhere , this is from uguisu  and i want them all!!!

Sunday, 22 May 2011

scrap bags

jo and i have been busy making hardaker & pope scrap bags for the forthcoming vintage handmade fair

they are quite time consuming as we are both awful perfectionists and like them to be filled with the kind of delights that we love!!
anyway here are a few to wet your appetite and if you can't make it to vintage handmade (you should come it is a great day out - and a bit like being let loose in a sweetie shop) then contact us and we are happy to post them out.

the husbands just 'don't get it' they cannot appreciate little bags of loveliness and want to know the exact purpose for them....... we say they don't have to have a purpose, but their uses are endless ..................

dollmaking, scrapbooking, patchwork,  little gifts, heirloom treasures,  little pictures, cardmaking the list is endless,  what do you use your little bits of fabric for? let us know in the comments and go into a draw to win one of our lovely scrapbags .

Saturday, 21 May 2011

weekend reading

 a couple of lovely new (well to me anyway) reads this week, via sams notebook (i am so pleased to see sam back to blogging ) .
 first up is what katie ate which is the blog of katie quinn a food stylist from  australia.
filled with beautiful food photography and delicious recipes. I can't wait to try the salted caramel and hazlenut tart.

 next up is photgrapher, author and stylist pia jane bijkerk .
 her blog and musing have an almost ethereal quality,
 her paris made by hand book was much blogged at the time of launch and i think her new book 'my heart wanders' will be joining my collection soon. happy weekend

Monday, 16 May 2011

wild garlic pesto

i have been making lots of wild garlic pesto this year as the woods around our house are full of it, it is coming to an end now but if you can find it in a shady spot here is the recipe, an ammended version of a sarah raven one from the garden cookbook.

2 very big handfuls of wild garlic washed and blanched
50g of pinenuts or walnuts (i use walnuts as pinenuts seem ridiculously expensive at the moment!)
lots of olive oil (to get it to the consistancy you like)
1 small clove garlic minced
50g (ish) parmesan or pecorino grated
salt and pepper

squeeze the water out of the blanched wild garlic leaves in a seive,
put the walnuts in the food processor and pulse to break them up.
add the wild garlic, parmesan, minced fresh garlic and a couple of big glugs olive oil.
turn the motor on and pour olive oil in through the funel of the processor till you have the consistancy you like.
check for seasoning.

i have used it on pasta, under the skin of a roast chicken, on top of a chargrilled chicken breast, and dribbled over roasted peppers. it is really good.

ps do you like my spoon - a great charity shop find.........